Message from the Superintendent

As we are abShelly 2out to enjoy a holiday break from school, I reflect on a terrific fall at York Suburban! Best wishes to all of you for a wonderful holiday!  Enjoy time with family and friends at this special time of year.  

In anticipation of the year ahead, I encourage you to consider two very special events:

I am pleased to invite you to a presentation of the State of the York Suburban School District on Monday, January 9 at 6:00 PM in the Education Center.  This program is open to the entire community and will provide information on the overall health of the organization including our strengths and successes as well as the areas of focus for the future.  Included in the presentation will be financial information and the status of the budget for the 2017-18 school year.

Immediately following this presentation will be a planning meeting of the Board of School Directors. Attendees are welcome to stay for the board meeting but it is not necessary.  The presentation alone provides a unique opportunity to engage with the district leaders, to learn and to share.  

The presentation will be posted on the District website on January 10 for those who are unable to attend. I hope to see many of you on January 9!

York Suburban School District will be hosting a program titled, So You Want to Be A School Board Member on Tuesday, January 24 at 6:00 PM at Valley View Elementary.  A panel of presenters will share information on what it takes to be a board member and to answer questions from the audience. If you are looking for a way to serve the community and want to make a difference in the lives of our children, consider running for an elected position on the school board.  

A school board is a legislative body of nine directors elected locally.  Each director is elected to a four year term.  In November 2017, this community will vote on four of those seats.  At least one director will not be running, opening a wonderful opportunity for someone who wishes to serve.  While the election is not until November, the primary election takes place in April and there is work to be done in February.

While there is no monetary reward for service on the board, there are many more important rewards to consider.  Directors have the opportunity to positively impact an entire generation of young people.  

We hope to see you on January 24!
Enjoy this holiday season with family and friends!

Dr. Shelly Merkle, Superintendent

Blue Ribbon Celebration Continues

Submitted by Dr. Brian Ellis


York Suburban continues to be recognized for the high school’s 2016 National Blue Ribbon award. In October, Dr. Ellis visited each of the elementary schools and the middle school to share the celebration, present the building with a personalized banner, and to recognize the faculty of the schools for the contributions they make to the education of child as they move through the K-12 system.  In November, Principal Dr. Brian Ellis, Superintendent Dr. Shelly Merkle, and YSHS Mathematics teacher, David Wickenheiser,  attended the National Blue Ribbon Ceremony in Washington D.C.  During the ceremony and associated conference, they met fellow administrators and teachers from Blue Ribbon Schools nationwide and had the opportunity to participate in sessions and workshops regarding best school practices.  Finally, the high school was recognized by the Pennsylvania Department of Education in December at a dinner in Hershey.  


York Suburban School Board of Directors


Yorkshire Elementary Teachers

Trout in the Classroom – Update

Submitted by Laura Horowitz


trout3The trout eggs arrived the second week of November and Mrs. Green’s seventh grade students are busy learning how to test and balance the aquarium environment. They are also learning how to carefully remove any of the eggs that die. As illustrated in the diagram (left) , Brook Trout Life Cycle,  we are in the Winter stage right now. Stay tuned for further updates.

Kathleen Green’s participation in the Trout in the Classroom program was made possible through a unique partnership between PA Fish and Boat Commission and PA Council of Trout Unlimited. This partnership, coupled with assistance from local conservation organizations, was created to introduce Pennsylvania students to coldwater resources and their importance to all communities. The partnership also provides brook trout eggs, trout food, technical assistance, curriculum connections and teacher workshops each year.



Giant Food Stores Donates to Foundation

Submitted by Sarah Reinecker

ysefgiantThe York Suburban Education Foundation (YSEF) has received a $5,000 donation from GIANT Food Stores. This contribution is through the Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program. One of the many programs funded by YSEF with EITC contributions is the summer camp enrichment program Fizz, Boom, Read.  In 2015 and 2016, this grant aimed to reinforce reading, writing, math and science skills for rising 1st-5th grade students through teacher led activities. STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math) concepts will be incorporated to guide student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. Pictured are students from Indian Rock who represent a sampling of the age range of students who benefitted from Fizz, Boom, Read summer camp. YSEF thanks GIANT Food Stores for helping York Suburban teachers do even more for YS students!

Honor Societies Induct New Members

On November 10 and November 17, the National Honor Society (NHS), the National English Honor Society (NEHS), and the Tri-M National Music Honor Society, welcomed their new members.

National Honor Society Officers

Sahara Wilt…………………………….………… President

Aileen Strong………………..…………………. Secretary

Megan Hunt………………………………………Treasurer

New NHS Inductees


Nicholas Bowman    Matthew Clark        Jack Korver

Sofia Spadotto


Anne Baskwill         Katelyn Branch        Jillian Ducker

Madison Ehrhart     Olivia Gerner           Alana Huynh

Joshua Kerr            Marisa Kouma         Carter Kowalewski

Maya Lehman         Sarah Manzella        Jessica McNulty

Charlotte Nesbitt     Zezette Pflaum         Alexandra Reinecker

Marianna Rodas      Socratis Rodas         Benjamin Salazar

Peyton Stuart         Katherine Traynor


  • GPA 3.5
  • 50 hours of community service
  • Significant and varied school service
  • Character and leadership qualities are evaluated by the high school faculty


National English Honor Society


Lucy Cook …………………………….………… President

Charlotte Nesbitt .…………….………… Vice President

Megan Hunt………………………………………Treasurer

Jillian Ducker………………..…………………. Secretary


New NEHS Inductees

Drue Allison            Elise Atkinson         Micah Avery

Lilly Cook               Livia Demopoulos    Zoe Hornberger

Caroline Liu            Evy Marquis            Luz Mendez-Aranda

Sarah Murray         Harrison Perring       Adam Petersen

Zoe Pratts              Maggie Senft          Lilli Smith

Bella Spadotto        Peyton Stuart         Bryn Walsh


  • maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 and a GPA in English of 3.3.
  • show passion for the subject area during class time as demonstrated through exemplary responses to literature, exceptional writing skills, insightful discussions, and strong leadership in the classroom.
  • continue their passion and commitment to the honor society outside of the English classroom through recommendations by various teachers, advisors, and administrators as well as through leadership skills

TRI-M National Music Honor Society   

NEW Tri-M Members:
Elise Atkinson
Katelyn Branchtri-m

Kiera Clifford
Gus Corsaro

Elizabeth Huh
Alana Huynh

Ben Koller
Sophia Matey

Sophia Spadotto
Waverly Speranza

Katie Traynor


  • Music–  Must be a current member in good standing in one of the York Suburban High School major performing organizations and have achieved a minimum of 45 points based on participation in various musical activities. (points are awarded through participation in various YS Music Ensembles and/or extra-curricular Musical Activities)
  • Leadership, Service, Character–  Must have demonstrated leadership, service, and character in your activities evaluated by the YS Music Faculty.
  • Scholarship–  Must have at least a 90% grade average in your major  performance group, and an 80% average in overall academic classes.

All new inductees and continuing members performed in the recital following the induction.

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Unity Council Plans District-Wide Spirit Days

yspirit7York Suburban’s Unity Council, formerly the Diversity Committee, will be hosting three Orange and Black (or Black and Orange!) Spirit Days. The District-wide Spirit Days promote the concept of solidarity.  Every student, teacher, and staff member donning their York Suburban Trojan colors, demonstrates our unity and belief that every student, teacher, and staff member matters.  Proudly wearing our TROJAN colors on each spirit day signifies we care for one another and we are YS Proud.  We invite everyone in our York Suburban community to participate in our TROJAN Spirit Days.

TROJAN Spirit Days will be held on:

Tuesday, January 10

Tuesday, March 14

Wednesday, May 24


WITF Spelling Bee Winners

Submitted by Denise Stayman


From left to right: Lucas Strickland, Hayden Sanders, Michael Forster, Liza Brown

York Suburban Middle School students took part in the annual WITF Central Pennsylvania Spelling Bee on December 8. After qualifying on a written test, there were a total of 68 YSMS students competing.

The top 4 winners were:

First Champion – Lucas Strickland – 8th grade (This is Lucas’s second year as First Champion; he participated and won as a 7th grader!)

Second Champion – Hayden Sanders – 6th grade

Third Champion – Michael Forster – 8th grade

Fourth Champion – Liza Brown – 7th grade

These four students will move on to take the semi-final, 100-word written test in Harrisburg on January 22.  If they qualify to the next round, they will then attend the Grand Championship Spelling Bee on February 25, where the regional champion will be determined and that student will then participate in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

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Student Foundation Builds Last Impact Closet

Submitted by Sarah Reinecker

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Students from the Impact Foundation (IF), a student-led committee of the York Suburban Education Foundation (YSEF), built their last Impact Closet at Yorkshire Elementary school in November. Student building representatives Sahara Wilt and David Ilayan took the lead with help from principal Dr. Kim Stoltz.  This completes IF’s first year operations goal of building an Impact Closet in every York Suburban building funded through a $5,000 grant from the York County Community Foundation.

The students are now focusing on sustainability, closet operations and collaborations.  To restock the closet inventory, students have forged collaborations within the schools and the community at large. Thanks to the building PTO’s and student councils, IF students have conducted two Impact Closet product drives to date, and more are scheduled throughout the school year.  In late October, a product drive was held at YS Middle School in collaboration with the PSO and Student Council where 350 hygiene items were donated by middle school students thanks to the efforts of IF students Parker Faircloth-Henise, Jack Schultz and David Ilayan.  In early December, the Indian Rock PTO generously helped IF students Collin Slenker and Lucy Cook conduct a product drive in conjunction with their annual book faire and pancake breakfast.  A total of 424 clothing items were collected – all donated by Indian Rock students and their families!  To help make an IMPACT, stay tuned to the York Suburban Education Foundation Facebook page for regular postings about items that will be needed overtime as the effort continues to grow and the students monitor inventory use throughout the buildings.

The Impact Foundation’s motto is Students Helping Students.

East York Elementary Students Visit the Demuth Museum

Submitted by Gayle Rudacille


Congratulations to 16 East York  third grade students whose artwork was selected to be displayed at the Charles Demuth Museum in Lancaster, PA, during the month of December 2016.  Educational materials about Demuth were offered by the museum for our benefit.  All third grade students learned about the life and artwork of Demuth and created a watercolor still life based on his style during their art class.  An opening exhibit was offered at the museum on Sunday, December 4, from 1:00-4:00 for all students, parents, and the community to enjoy.  The following East York student’s artwork was featured: (front row from left to right) Chase Reed, Cecelia Koloras, Isabella Camacho, Cecelia Thomason, Preston Ilgenfritz, Adin Friedenfeld, Paige Barley, Cambria Rice.  Back row: Jacob Cooper, Cameron Sikora-Nailon, Callahan Harrell, Abigail Williams, Colbie McKenna, Madilyn Forry, Whitley Kamarauskas, Emma Bates.

Hour of Code

Submitted by Marilyn Henning

Every year, hosts a week-long event called “Hour of Code.” Computer Science Educatiocoden Week was December 5-11.

The purpose of this event is to foster student interest in computer coding. The events have received much press and media attention. York Suburban School District has hosted its own coding time over the past few years. Did you know in just three years, at least 10% of all students on the planet have tried the Hour of Code? This year the elementary and primary buildings are participating thanks to our amazing technology teachers Mrs. Barron and Mr. Evans.  Classroom teachers and families are invited to participate and continue to learn the basics of coding, and may continue to access coding activities on our For Student tab at  Check out Hour of Code for more information.

Some students finished all 20 level of the coding activity!